(Ok. So I only found it after asking Jason where it was. But still! He only told me where he'd laid the memory card. I still had to look on the desk and find it my own self!)
This time last week, I was at the Pink Palace with Anna Marie and three busloads of first graders.
(And also, several busloads of kids from other schools. Who coordinates these things anyway?)
More precisely, at this time last week, I was waiting in line at the museum's IMAX theater, which is under the front lawn, and which is impervious to cell phone signals.
(I know. I tried to check my email before we went in. UNDERGROUND! NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM! OR SEND YOU A TEXT MESSAGE!)
Before we descended into The Abyss of No Cell Phone Coverage, we ascended (the escalator) to the Festival of Trees.
The general idea is that different organizations decorate trees, and the entrance fees are donated to charity.
Here were a few of our (meaning Anna Marie and my other charge, her BFF Madi) favorites:
Hannah Montana, of course. But what is up with that creepy head at the top? Could they not have used something a little less grotesque? Is there no end to The Creepy at this museum?
I liked this tree, with its gold and white and musical instruments and "JOY" ornaments. Just plain pretty.
You knew this was coming, didn't you? You knew SOMEONE was going to put a High School Musical tree together. This was, obviously, the very favorite of the two girls I had in tow.
While I am not a big fan of satin-ball ornaments, I did very much like this tree. I wish I had somewhere that a white tree with bright ornaments would work at my house! It would be FABULOUS.
Yet another white tree. This one had a snow/penguin theme, and it's a little hard to see, but there was a giant snowflake as the tree topper.
(CAUTION: we are now entering the super-secret part of this post. I was all snap-happy taking pictures, and wondering why I didn't the last time we came, and then I realized that I wasn't supposed to be taking any. View at your own risk, and if you're caught, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your existence.)
Let me remind you: these decorations were used at least 30 years ago, because that's about how long ago my parents took me to the basement of a downtown department store to see them. They spent several years in storage after the store closed, and when I was in high school, they were moved to an agricultural exposition center. A few years ago they were moved to this museum, and here they stay.
That being said, on with the cheesetasticness.
There was, of course, more to look at, but The Man got all hot and bothered about the photography going on. Some of the stuff moved! And everything! I promise!
(Those elves - they're the main thing I remember from seeing this stuff as a toddler. Scarred for life!)
Now that that's over, I have one more, really scary thing to show you:
Not so scary, you say? What if I told you that each one of those stuffed penguins had set someone back $50? What say you then? Sure the money went to charity, but that's a lot of Benjamins.
(Or is it Hamiltons? I honestly have no idea whose picture is on the $50 bill, because I haven't seen one in so long.)
And how many kids do you think actually heeded that sign telling them not to touch the penguins. Yep, just that many.
Perhaps later today, I'll get around to telling you about Anna Marie's Christmas list, which she compiled on the way to church on Sunday, and which involves both her teeth and a plant.
Maybe by "plant" she means "money tree," because that's what it's going to take to fulfill her wishes!